1998 Anne Arundel field hockey previews

September 02, 1998|By Glenn P. Graham

Annapolis Panthers

1997 record: 9-5

Top players: Caitlin Stone, Sr., A; Mattie Phillips, Sr., A; Emily Childs, Jr., G; Jessie White, Sr., M; Megan Haislip, Sr., M; Meredith Paone, Jr., D.

Outlook: With Stone leading an aggressive attack, Childs tough to get past in goal and plenty of experienced talent in between, the Panthers are priming themselves for a big season. Eleven regulars are back from last year's squad that reached the Class 4A East Region final. Stone, whose nine goals and eight assists earned her first-team All-County honors last fall, joins Phillips for their fourth season of varsity on attack. White brings a good understanding of the game in the middle with Childs taking charge in back.

Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers

1997 record: 7-6-4

Coach: Mary Pat Bozel

Top players: Katie O'Connell, Sr., M; Kristen Walker, Jr., D; Michele Grimason, Sr., A; Meghan Swartzmeyer, Sr., A; Amanda Paxson, Sr., D; Katie Mannix, Jr., M.

Outlook: After going 2-9-1 in their first AIS A Division season in 1996, the Cavaliers got over the .500 mark last year and have bigger expectations this fall. A goal-hungry attack featuring O'Connell and plenty of balance will lead the way. Bozel expects plenty of goals. The Cavaliers lost two standouts to graduation -- first-team All-Metro goalie Malia Swieconek and first-team All-County attacker Kat Brady -- but Bozel has been impressed with how well-rounded and cohesive this group has looked in practice. Walker, in her third varsity season, will play a big role at her center back spot, with Paxson another standout on defense. The Cavaliers had 19 freshmen come out this season, the most in Bozel's nine years at Spalding.

Arundel Wildcats

1997 record: 7-4-2

Coach: Clint Gosnell

Top players: Sarah Sayani, Sr., M; Katie Stoddard, Sr., D; Lindsey Schiesz, Sr., A; Amy Rogers, Sr., A; Laura Silverman, Sr., D; Becky Weiss, Sr., G; Emily Walther, Jr., D; Jill Marano, So., M.

Outlook: Gosnell loves his team's attitude: "They just play hard and have fun doing it. This is a fun bunch." And a talented one, too. The Wildcats have a nice mix of experienced players with some promising newcomers, leaving Gosnell optimistic for another fine campaign. The Wildcats have no absolute standouts and also no glaring weaknesses. Sayani, a four-year varsity player, provides stability at midfield with Schiesz, who missed half of last season with a broken foot, ready to go up front with Rogers. Weiss, who replaces standout Megan Tidwell in the cage, has looked impressive in practice. "Becky came out prepared knowing she had some big shoes to fill," said Gosnell. Marano, also a talented guard on the Wildcats' basketball team, brings plenty of athleticism to the center midfield position to lead a strong sophomore group. "If we can score, we'll be fine," said Gosnell.

Broadneck Bruins

1997 record: 7-8

Coach: Phoebe Kelly

Top players: Justyn Kopack, Sr. A; Ann Lerian Sr., A; Shannon Rigling, Sr., A; Andrea Schnell, Sr., M; Courtney Basile, Sr., A; Kristen Maisel, Sr., M; Lindsey Stone, Sr., D; Megan Atkinson, Jr., Amanda McElwee, Jr., MF; Mara Swieconek, Jr., MF.

Outlook: The majority of a deep senior class are playing in their third season of varsity together with thoughts of putting it all together and making a strong run this fall. Kelly lost only three starters from last year -- one wing, one midfielder and one defender -- so there's plenty of experienced talent everywhere. "Each girl has made extra efforts to improve this season with a lot of them going to camps," said Kelly. The offense is fast and aggressive with balance throughout. The Bruins are working on setting up more scoring options and should be equally effective on the left and right sides. Kelly said the defense has improved, with Sara Glassman the anchor in goal.

Chesapeake Cougars

1997 record: 11-5

Coach: Jerry Taylor

Top players: Megan Skiles, Sr., D; Valerie Bryant, Sr., G; Marge Burba, Sr., A; April Ervin, Sr., A; Colleen Plitt, Sr., M; Lory Richter, Sr., M; Pam Hemmings, Jr., D; Emily Ison, Jr., D/A.

Outlook: An abundance of talented players graduated -- including Metro Player of the Year Wendy Ison at midfield -- but veteran coach Taylor, formerly Jerry Raab, said her team should be just as competitive after a couple of games to jell. The Cougars lost 10 seniors from last year's team that reached the county championship game and region final, but Taylor said the competition to fill the vacant positions has been healthy. Most of the experience is back on defense, with Skiles leading the way as a second-team All-County performer last season. Bryant, who takes over the duties in goal for graduated Rana Schreiber, saw some varsity time in the cage as a junior. Plitt and Ervin are expected to take care of the scoring burden.

Meade Mustangs

1997 record: 5-5-2

Coach: Angela King

Top players: Shelly Sorenson, Sr., D; Monika Walker, Sr., D; Etta Edwards, Sr., MF; Virginia Johnson, Sr., D; Angela Remy, Sr., A; Alicia Donahue, Sr., A.

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